Category Archives: television

Am I Still A Geek?

When I created this image I really thought this blog was going to go another way.

In the past I would have no problem identifying with this statement:

I am a geek.

I don’t think that this is any kind of real surprise to anyone who reads this blog or knows me, but it’s not something that I bring up that often for public consumption.  Working in toys has really activated my geekery gene and since that is what I’ve been spending so much time on turning it into content for the internet seemed like the next natural choice. But as I’ve gotten back into my geekier pursuits I’ve noticed that I’m not feeling particularly connected to “geek” as a community – and I don’t know how I feel about that.

Why do we care?

In all likelihood you probably don’t, but it’s very possible that we are about to see a change to geek culture and since geek culture has been mainstreamed any changes that come are likely going to affect the entertainment industry in a massive way. I think my identity crisis is just a symptom of something bigger… maybe.

Being a geek is nothing new and we are somehow still in a geek culture golden age. If you were to tell me twenty-five years ago that some of the most popular things on YouTube, videos that were getting MILLIONS of views, were of people playing Dungeons and Dragons and other role playing games I’d laugh until I passed out. Put on top of that the fact that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the most popular, profitable and unstoppable franchise factories making household names out of characters that no one knew of merely a decade ago? And the fact that Star Wars as a universe is still chugging along in mainstream media? And that I can find Iron Man action figures in just about every single armor that he has ever worn both on screen and in the comics? I tell you my little teenage heart would burst.

But it was not always this way.

I like to frame myself as a “proud geek,” but if I’m being honest that hasn’t always been true. Even in times as geek popular as now I tend to hold that part back from the spotlight. In the past I have justified this hiding because of my “brand.” On this blog and on social media I preferred to be an actor first, focus on career related things… and every once in a while toss in an obscure movie reference, mention that I need to go play D&D, or talk about Iron Man. But that was not very authentic in how much of my private identity can be tied back to what are considered geeky (sometimes VERY geeky) things.

Although some of the geeky things have gained a hip status, the fact of the matter is that all the cool popular people playing or involved in this stuff  are a very small, niche part of the people who play and participate in the core of geekery. The core audience still carries the stigma that was turned into stereotypes used in TV and movies, especially in the late 70’s through the 90’s. Hell, that was my bread and butter for most of my young acting career.

That’s me, in the broken glasses, as Kirby the Nerd.

You can see it in the faces of cosplayers, Magic the Gathering players, wargamers and hard core D&D enthusists; there is an underlying fear anytime they are around people outside of their community that they will be made fun of. And I totally get that, I have also had that fear.

I think that Simon Pegg has presented the best definition of the modern geek:

As he points out, this doesn’t just apply to things like superhero fans and Warhammer 40,000 players but sports fanatics and people who love cars too. But the stigma doesn’t follow the latter the way it does the former. Jocks and nerds may be satisfying the same itch deep down, but society in general views them in very different ways and always at odds.

I was at Rose City Comic Con this year. It’s the first con that I’ve been to since San Diego ComiCon back in either 2012 or 2014 (I can’t remember) and even longer than that since I went to a convention of any size that wasn’t related to the entertainment industry in some way shape or form. This year felt different than what I remember.

Some of my favorite childhood memories are of my dad and I going to comic cons all over Southern California (mostly the Shrine Shows in L.A.) looking for old Iron Man back issues, checking out old toys and collectables, and doing our best to bargain down a price with the dealers. At these shows I built a very impressive collection of Yoda memorabilia, got my first Iron Man action figure from the defunct Secret Wars line, and completed a volume 1 collection of Iron Man comics. 

I would spend my days reading comics and coming up with adventures for all my favorite characters in my head. The reading material came in handy for auditions as well since I was merely a passengers for nearly a decade. I was proud to know as much about the Marvel Universe as I did. I knew Doctor Who lore and stories that would surprise adult fans. I knew Star Wars down to the Tonnika sisters. But I had very few people that I could share all this with.

Junior High School, the worst of all the “schools” in my opinion, was when I met my core group of friends, people I still know and love to this day. Jeff Garvin was my entry point to the group. He and I met doing Annie with a community theater group (another thing that is generally considered pretty geeky, but that’s another blog post altogether). We shared mutual interests, Star Wars and comic books in a general sense, and he introduced me to his Dungeons and Dragons group. Jeff, Dan and Scott became my best friends through school. 

In addition to D&D we shared other common interests in movies and music. Star Wars and Indiana Jones were big favorites and we spent way too much playing the original X-Wing and TIE Fighter computer games. We tried some other RPGs and Dan, Scott and I all started playing Warhammer 40k. We had each other’s backs. We were our own little community and we could run in the circles of other geek communities without effort.

At Rose City Comic Con I was the outsider. Even though I’m an over 40-bearded-beer-gut-guy (a description that has come to be the standard archetype for the stereotypical geek) I saw the distrustful looks that came from the cosplayers and gamers and comic book fans. I imagine I must’ve looked like a dad who was missing his kid, especially since I was there by myself. There was a part of me that wanted to say, “Don’t worry I’m totally one of you.” But even writing that seems condescending and pointless, especially since geekdom and fandom are plagued by toxic jerks right now. I can’t find fault with the suspicious looks. If you didn’t know any better I could be one of those entitled, angry and anonymous man-children screaming about The Last Jedi. Toxic Fandom is the culmination of people who felt powerless finding a voice and, in most circumstances, trying to claim ownership on a fictional world that should be open to everyone. When that kind of “fandom” finds other people who feel the same we get things like what we saw with recent Star Wars stars leaving social media.

But that’s not what I want to see. Sure there will always be jerks, but in general the community is at its best when it is supportive of each other and when people who want to learn about and participate in the geekery are welcomed. Even though I got a lot of side-eye yesterday, the folks at the convention we all very polite and super excited about what they were doing there. That’s the part I like. That’s what I’d like to see more of.

To that point I’m going to start talking about my geekier pursuits here on the blog more. I may not feel like I’m directly linked into the community like I used to be, but I still D&D like a boss, build and paint 40k armies competently, and can still throw down in Supernatural continuity conversations with the best of them. The old saying goes “be the change you’d like to see” and I’d like to help put some positivity back into the geeky stuff that I love.

Please join me! Tell me about the geeky stuff you love in the comments. Introduce me to that thing you like that maybe you’re self conscious about. Let’s build a better community without entitlement and toxicity.

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Fun Video Friday – Bye Felicia: The Music Video

Rene and Curtis Bye Felicia Costume Shot


Early in the year Rene and I were invited to participate in a secret music video shoot.

It was for a new television show whose first season was just ending.

The video was for the special features on the DVD.

We were sworn to secrecy…


Above – an image of our costumes for the shoot.

Below- the video itself.

Side note: This is the only thing in history where I purposely have facial hair and might be the only thing that ever does.

Also, my wife’s dance moves are pretty slick.

And yes, that’s her in bed with Matt McGorry.

And I was in the room… watching.

Special shout out to director Charlie Visnic for including us!

Here’s the video:


Filed under acting, actor stuff, fun video friday, news, performing, television, TV, video, videos, YouTube

Op Ed: The Future of Entertainment

Image from

Image from

The entertainment industry is changing faster now than it ever has before. The last decade has seen an exponential change in how audiences consume content, where content is created, how content can be monetized, and what that means for the people who create all of this content. I see this from the perspective of the “working class” trenches: no development fund, need to maintain employment, still keeping up a hustle. For people like me (and there are a LOT of us) we have seen this change in a very real way for a long time and, as much as I hate to admit it, haven’t been as proactive as we probably should have been to be on the front of that wave.

Instead the younger set, those without the idea of “this is how things work” found their place. YouTubers are doing very well for themselves and Hollywood is taking notice, ready to monetize on their popularity. Fan films get national attention and have their own festival circuit. The biggest name in horror for the last seven years has been Paranormal Activity – a series that started with a movie made for about $11,000 in a dude’s house with After Effects.

For those with vision and a camera the future is open and ready…

…that being said, the old model is far from dead.

A lot of talk happened the Monday after the Golden Globes when Netflix and Amazon both walked away with coveted trophies about how the nature of television is changing and that the very business is already inexorably changed. And it is, but not completely. Not yet.

Here are two articles that, for me, were kind of the yin and yang of the future of the business, at least for the next few years especially in the context of wide public distribution, like television.

A Few Caveats About The New World Of Television from Monkey See from NPR

The Golden Globes Tell Us Everything About the Entertainment Industry in 2015 from IndieWire

I’m a “new model” guy who’s ready for the wild west, but it’s hard to pass up the money that can come with “old model” companies.

What do you think? Comment below.

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Filed under actor stuff, Andelon, business, career, commentary, filmmaking, independent film, insight, internet, making movies, money, news, NPR, pop culture, producing, technology, television, the future, TV, working for a living, YouTube

Gordie on Hulu and Amazon Prime!

Thanks to the glory of the internet you can now revisit the world of Sabrina: The Teenage Witch on Hulu and Amazon Prime!

See the birth of Gordie, from stereotypical geek to mildly hipper geek!

See performances from the Violent Femmes and Phantom Planet!

See a boy possessed by a warlock who is supposed to be trapped in the form of a cat!

The Hulu cast is available to all and if you are interested in checking out Amazon Prime follow the link below for a free 30-day trial!

Also, I’ll be posting links to the episodes and revealing fun facts about them on my fan page, so go like it if you haven’t already.

Do you have a favorite version of Gordie 90’s hair? I’m partial to Trial By Fury and Salem the Boy, but what do you think?

See you next time!

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Filed under acting, blatant plug, Gordie, sabrina, shameless self promotion, television, TV, videos

The Baker-Eccleston Principle – The Two Whos Who Wouldn’t Return

Doctor Who, the cultural phenomenon that has spanned 50 years now, has it’s official 50th Anniversary Episode coming this November. Traditionally this is a chance to bring back actors who have previously played the Doctor and team them up to battle an evil so great that one Doctor simply isn’t enough. Well, I say traditionally, but it’s only happened twice: “The Three Doctors” for the 10th Anniversary and “The Five Doctors” for the 20th Anniversary. (OK, three times, but do we really want to mention “Dimensions in Time?”) But there are two actors who have played the Doctor who have refused to return for these specials, Tom Baker for “The Five Doctors” and Chris Eccleston for The 50th Anniversary. So what’s up? Why would these guys not come back? They have their reasons, but lets look at the history.

The three doctors went off with very few snags, the only major one being that William Hartnell, the first Doctor, was in poor health and couldn’t handle a normal shooting schedule so all of his scenes were made to be done via view screen. They battled an ancient Timelord, Omega, who was responsible providing the energy that supports Timelord civilization. Omega got stuck in an alternate dimension, went crazy, wanted revenge – generally bad news. This story is available on DVD and worth checking out if you’re into classic Who.
Here’s a link to the Special Edition:

And to the original for you purists:

Then came “The Five Doctors” and things were a little different. Not only was William Hartnell replaced due to his unfortunate death, but Tom Baker refused to return. The 20th Anniversary came two years after Tom Baker leaving the show. He had been, and continues to be, the actor to play the Doctor the longest (1974-1981) and, according to many sources, was concerned about returning to the role after having done it so recently. In fact he even backed out of the photo shoot for the show so they used the Madame Tussaud’s wax figure in his place (see image above). While the official word was that he didn’t want to play the role again so soon, there are also plenty of behind-the-scenes reasons that may have affected his decision. Having been the Doctor for as long as he was, there was a certain amount of control that Baker had on the show. With long time producer Graham Williams and writer Douglas Adams, of “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” fame, leaving at the end of the 17th series Baker was the strongest voice to want to maintain the  tone of the show. Then new producer, John Nathan-Turner, came on in 1981. He wanted to move away from the comedic elements and make Doctor Who more of a drama, especially since ratings were dipping due to the American import “Buck Rogers.” The cast, led by Baker, did not agree. It’s likely that this off-air friction had an influence on his decision and the fans suffered for it.  As time has passed Baker has confessed that he regrets not doing the show and is even open to doing something in the 50th anniversary show.

Even without Tom Baker, “The Five Doctors” is regarded as a classic. Here is a link to the 25th Anniversary DVD:

It’s off-air frictions, again, that seem to be getting in the way of the latest Anniversary show as well. When the show was revived in 2005 by Russell T. Davies Chris Eccleston was brought on to be the Doctor. Personally I remember this pretty well. The first episode, “Rose,” was a great transition back into the world of Doctor Who in my opinion. We spent a lot of time with the Rose character first, showing what her life in modern day London was like. We are introduced to the Doctor as an audience the same way she is; suddenly, briskly and bluntly. From that moment on the show just propelled you from adventure to adventure. The re-launch was a hit and the rest is history, but we only got one season of Eccleston’s Doctor. For a long time his departure has been debated. Publicly it was stated that he didn’t want to be typecast and that he was only contracted for a year because they weren’t sure if the show would be a success, but he recently spoke more on his reasons for leaving at an event at the Theater Royal in Haymarket stating:

I left Doctor Who because I could not get along with the senior people. I left because of politics. I did not see eye-to-eye with them. I didn’t agree with the way things were being run. I didn’t like the culture that had grown up around the series. So I left, I felt, over a principle.

I thought to remain, which would have made me a lot of money and given me huge visibility, the price I would have had to pay was to eat a lot of shit. I’m not being funny about that. I didn’t want to do that and it comes to the art of it, in a way. I feel that if you run your career and.. we are vulnerable as actors and we are constantly humiliating ourselves auditioning. But if you allow that to go on, on a grand scale you will lose whatever it is about you and it will be present in your work.”

“If you allow your desire to be successful and visible and financially secure – if you allow that to make you throw shades on your parents, on your upbringing, then you’re knackered. You’ve got to keep something back, for yourself, because it’ll be present in your work”, he added.
He concluded, saying “My face didn’t fit and I’m sure they were glad to see the back of me. The important thing is that I succeeded. It was a great part. I loved playing him. I loved connecting with that audience. Because I’ve always acted for adults and then suddenly you’re acting for children, who are far more tasteful; they will not be bullshitted. It’s either good, or it’s bad. They don’t schmooze at after-show parties, with cocktails.” – From

 This has carried over, somewhat, to the 50th Anniversary show. Even though Russell T. Davies is no longer the showrunner, it seems that the baggage of the past is still too much to over come. Official word came from the BBC that,”Chris met with Steven Moffat a couple of times to talk about Steven’s plans for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode. After careful thought, Chris decided not to be in the episode. He wishes the team all the best.” And that, appears, to be that. 

For those of you who may have missed it, I really do think that the 2005 stories are a great way back into the Whoniverse. Check out the first series:

So what do you think? Do actors have a responsibility to the fans on cult shows like Doctor Who to return for events like this? How much do you feel you are owed? I look forward to your comments.

PS – OK, so, yeah, there’s “Dimensions in Time.” It was the 30th Anniversary show that was released after the show had been cancelled back in the late 80’s. It was a crossover with East Enders, a popular English soap opera. It’s not good and it’s not available on DVD so here’s the full video from YouTube:

Also here’s a link to an blog post about the deleted scenes. Watch it at your own risk.

See you next time!

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Filed under behind the scenes, commentary, doctor who, geek, television

The House of Cards… No, not that one. The other one.

I knew it. I knew I recognized it but I was enjoying it so much that it completely blinded me to the memory of the original.

House of Cards, the new Netflix original series that I have been so excited about for the last week (And it is phenomenal. Seriously, I think everyone should watch it.) Is based on the same source material as the fantastic, although slightly dated, House of Cards (called The House of Cards in the Netflix cue) that was released in the 80’s by the BBC.

Both are similar, main character breaking the 4th wall to speak with the audience, and have the same general plots, spurned House whip getting revenge on the people who wronged him, but the styles of the shows are significantly different and there is the fact that the original takes place in England while the Netflix series takes place in the United States.

Here’s some info on the BBC series, in case you’re curious – The House of Cards.

Clearly the Netflix series is based on this series, of which there were three seasons, but they each have their own charm and both worth watching in their own right. Also, the stories do diverge, especially considering the ending of the original series in the UK, which is always nice. I’d hate to have a road map to the entire new series already laid out – talk about spoilers!

I have finally finished the Netflix version and want to discuss it! Maybe a G+ hangout? Mention in the comments if that would be something you’re into.

So good!

See you next time!

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Filed under filmmaking, new shows, television

Seriously, House of Cards!

I cannot get enough of House of Cards, the new original series from Netflix. It’s their second foray into content and they have swung for the fences!

Starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright and too many other great actors to name, this political drama is riveting and clever and I’m just enjoying the hell out of it. It doesn’t hurt that David Fincher is also involved. Seriously look at this IMDb page!

What really excites me the most, though, is that this is extremely high quality content created by, what is essentially an internet entertainment company. I know Netflix is now fairly ubiquitous, I was the last person I know to get a Netflix subscription except for my parents, but when it’s all boiled down you can’t have Netflix without an internet connection. That fact that they could back this kind of production is really quite a step up from Harlem Shake videos or standard webseries. I’m very excited to see what they come up with next.

Here’s a trailer, now go watch it yourself!

See you next time!

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